Godalming Town (0) 0, Guildford City (1) 4
by Barry Underwood
With the lockdown still preventing crowds attending matches, it was a small group of officials who gathered at Wey Court on Saturday for City’s traditional derby fixture. Step six Godalming had in recent weeks twice beaten promotion bound Farnham Town, and their form had belied their modest league position. To be fair the first half was a scrappy affair and perhaps as befits a derby clash the half became increasingly bad-tempered. But Godalming were in the encounter during the first period and twice early on they came close to taking the lead. First, a shot from an angle went over the bar, and moments later David Burton took one for the team; making a tremendous block that caused him a painful-looking injury. A succession of corners from the home side were comfortably dealt with, and slightly against the run of play it was Guildford who took the lead on 36 minutes. A Ryan Ferrari free-kick was blocked, and from the resulting loose ball, Mike Coppinger shot low into the corner from 20 yards. This goal lifted the visitors who finished the half in confident fashion.
Whatever the words of wisdom spoken at half-time, it had an effect as City looked transformed after the break. Three minutes after the restart Coppinger and Fred Hill combined to find Prince Mbengui on the edge of the box. A ricochet fell kindly and his low shot from 20 yards found the corner of the net. Guildford’s work rate was impressive, and their closing down made it difficult for the opposition to make headway. On 57 minutes City were three ahead. An excellent Ryan Ferrari free kick from the left was met by Isy Nzelo at the back post who netted from close range. It was I suppose inevitable that Nzelo would score. His first goal for the club came last Saturday in his 71st appearance, and like London buses they tend to come along in two and threes. And so, it proved. Guildford were now rampant. Max Oldham’s cross just evaded Athan Smith-Joseph in front of goal, and with 20 minutes remaining Fred Hill’s effort was deflected just wide, and a minute later from a corner Isy Nzelo was a whisker away from scoring a second. Godalming’s best chance of the half saw Mike McEntegart comfortably save a volleyed effort. On 82 minutes Fred Hill hit the woodwork after good lead up play by Max Oldham and the impressive Josh Everard. As the game entered stoppage time Athan Smith-Joseph slid an inch perfect ball across the box which was tucked away by Max Oldham for City’s fourth. An impressive performance by Guildford who now require a point at Sheerwater on Monday to progress to the knockout stages.
Team: Mike McEntegart, Isy Nzelo, Fred Hill (Stephane Zolo 83), Josh Everard, David Burton, Prince Mbengui, Ruairi Byrne (Anselme Daho 69), Max Oldham, Mike Coppinger (Kieran Williams 65), Nathan Laleye (Athan Smith-Joseph 57), Ryan Ferrari (Harry Nicholas 77).
Referee: Fabien Le Houezac
MATCHDAY PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL BURGMAN